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Bias charges filed in Rutgers suicide case

TRENTON, New Jersey. - A man was indicted Wednesday on bias intimidation and other charges after allegedly using a webcam to spy on a same-sex encounter involving his university roommate, who committed suicide shortly afterward in a case that started a national conversation on bullying.

A 15-count indictment was handed up Wednesday by a Middlesex County grand jury against Dharun Ravi, who had already faced invasion of privacy charges along with another student, Molly Wei.

The indictment charges Ravi with bias, invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering, and other charges stemming from the suicide of his roommate at Rutgers University, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, in September. The indictment said charges against Wei would not be presented to the grand jury "at this time."

Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River shortly after authorities say Ravi and Wei used a webcam to peek at his liaison. Lawyers for Ravi say the webcam stream was viewed only on a single computer and did not show the men having sex. Ravi has since withdrawn from Rutgers.

The death of Clementi, a promising violinist in his first weeks at college, came amid a string of high-profile suicides of young people who were gay or perceived to be gay.

Partly because of his high-profile death and the other circumstances surrounding his suicide, Clementi became a face of the issue.

President Barack Obama and celebrities including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and sex columnist Dan Savage have talked publicly about his death and said that young gays and lesbians need to know that life gets better.

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